By: Researcher Taymur
The thyroid is a tiny butterfly-shaped gland found just below the Adam’s apple at the base of your head. It is part of a complex gland network called the endocrine system. Many of the body’s movements are regulated by the endocrine system. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism in your body.
If your thyroid produces too much hormone (hyperthyroidism) or not enough (hypothyroidism), several different disorders may occur.
Hashimoto’s disease, Graves ‘ disease, goiter, and thyroid nodules are four common thyroid disorders.
Understanding Goiter Disease
Therefore goiter is a non-cancerous thyroid gland enlargement. The world’s most common cause of goiter is dietary iodine deficiency. Researchers estimate that 200 million of the 800 million iodine-deficient people worldwide were affected by goiter.
In the U.S., where iodized salt provides plenty of iodine, goiter is often caused by and a symptom of hyperthyroidism.
However goiter can affect anyone at any age, particularly in areas of the world where there is a shortage of foods rich in iodine. But goiters are more common in women because who are more likely to have thyroid disorders after age 40 and in women. Therefore certain risk factors include family history of medicine, other use of medications, childbirth, and exposure to radiation.
Therefore if the goiter isn’t severe, there may be no symptoms. Because if it grows large enough, the goiter can cause one or more of the following symptoms, depending on the size:
- because of swelling in your neck
- however difficulties in swallowing
- because of coughing or wheezing
- therefore hoarseness of voice
- so tightness in your neck
- therefore having difficulties in breathing
Understanding Thyroid Nodules
However thyroid nodules are growths forming on or within the thyroid gland. So approximately 1% of people and 5% of women living in countries that are iodine-sufficient have thyroid nodules that are big enough to touch. Therefore approximately 50% of people are going to have nodules that are too small to touch.
However the causes are not always understood but may include the deficiency of iodine and the condition of Hashimoto. Because the nodules can be packed with solid or liquid.
Because most are benign, but in a small percentage of cases they can also be cancerous. Therefore as with other issues related to thyroid, nodules are more common in women than men, and the risk increases with age in both sexes.
However most nodules of the thyroid do not cause symptoms. Because they can cause swelling in your neck, however, if they grow large enough, and lead to difficulty breathing and swallowing, pain, and goiter.
However some nodules produce thyroid hormone, causing the bloodstream to be abnormally high. Because when this happens, hyperthyroidism symptoms are similar and may include:
- weight loss
- clammy skin
- high pulse rate
- increased appetite
On the other hand, if the nodules are associated with the disease of Hashimoto, symptoms will be similar to hypothyroidism. This includes:
- dry skin
- cold intolerance
- hair loss
Understanding Thyroid Cancer
So the most common type of endocrine cancer in children is thyroid cancer, but it is still very rare. Because every year, it is diagnosed in less than 1 in every 1 million children under the age of 10. So the incidence in adolescents is slightly higher, with a rate in 15-to 19-year-olds of about 15 cases per million.
Children’s signs of thyroid cancer include:
- a lump in the neck
- swollen glands
- tight feeling in the neck
- trouble breathing or swallowing
- hoarse voice